Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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Like stepping in a bucket of worms

After today's massforge meeting, zengeneral, tmehlinger, thekuffs and I spent the better part of an hour chatting about the nature of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, rendering and animation therein, and most especially gameplay. I learned something important about relative bandwidths of server-based and client-based computation in MMO games, particularly combat games with many NPCs that require physics.

We talked abuot Pirates!, Civilization (I-III), The Sims, SimEarth, SimAnt, Age of Empires and Age of Empires II, Black and White, Warcraft (I-III), Starcraft, World of Warcraft, and MMORPGs in general (including the popular Everquest, Ultima Online, and Star Wars: Galaxies franchises.

tmehlinger needs to do IT stand-up. His quick rant about meta-simulation made me laugh more than I have in weeks, and it didn't look as if I was alone. thekuffs gave a scathing critique about Black and White's gameplay and user interface that led into my current remarks.

I'll write more about those later, but today's topic is:
What makes for engaging gameplay in first-person adventure, role-playing, shooter, turn-based, simulation and "real-time" strategy games?

The context of this question is that zengeneral averred that a 15-20 minute multi-player Warcraft III game was of reasonable length for a LAN party. When challenged, our young Sith friend further asserted that it is adequate, if not preferable, to develop a game where skilled players can compete against a horde of weak players and annihilate them, rather than to impose artificial limits on game mechanics so that "realism" predominates, i.e., heroic victories are won by one or two virtuously skilled players against tens of skilled opponents (including artificial intelligent agents).

zengeneral: It's like stepping in a bucket of worms.
banazir: Which, I take it, is a good thing?

What do you think?


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